When it comes to dental fillings, one size does not fit all. Different types of dental fillings are recommended for various issues regarding your teeth, and seeing a qualified dentist can ensure you get the kind of filling best suited to your particular needs. Jim Michaels Waterski discusses the different types of dental fillings below and when to choose each.
Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are a type of dental filling composed primarily of an alloy of mercury and silver. They are commonly used to fill cavities in the back teeth since they can withstand the biting pressures of chewing better than other materials.
Amalgam fillings are relatively easy and inexpensive to place, and they are a durable filling option with a long lifespan. Because amalgam fillings are made up of metal materials, they can appear noticeable when you smile, so if you’re looking for something more discreet, this may not be the best option for you.
Composite or tooth-colored fillings are dental fillings made primarily of glass and quartz particles. The dentist mixes these materials with a resin to create a putty-like substance that can fill cavities in the front or back teeth.
Composite fillings are more aesthetically pleasing than amalgam fillings as they are virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth structure. However, composite fillings do not last as long as amalgam fillings, and this material is more prone to wear and tear due to the biting forces of chewing.
Glass Ionomer Fillings
Glass ionomer fillings are a type of dental filling composed of an acrylic and glass-like material. This material is the same color as your teeth, so it looks more discreet than other dental fillings. Glass ionomer fillings can be used in the front or back teeth and are often recommended for smaller cavities or those that are difficult to reach.
Glass ionomer fillings are durable and can provide a strong bond with the tooth, but they are not as long-lasting as other types of dental fillings. Additionally, glass ionomer fillings may be more prone to staining over time than other filling materials.
Gold fillings are made up of an alloy composed primarily of gold. This material is exceptionally durable and can last up to 20 years with proper care, making it an excellent option for larger cavities in the back teeth. Gold fillings also provide a strong bond with the tooth, so they can help prevent recurrent decay around the filling area.
The main downside to gold fillings is they are the most expensive option and may not be covered by insurance. Additionally, gold fillings can be visible when you smile due to their metallic color.
Ceramic or porcelain fillings are a type of dental filling that closely resembles your natural tooth color. The material comprises ceramic and glass powders, which can be used to fill cavities in front or back teeth.
Ceramic fillings are firm and durable, with a long lifespan comparable to gold fillings. They also provide a seamless finish that is virtually indistinguishable from your natural tooth structure, so this may be the best option if you’re looking for an aesthetically pleasing solution.
Choosing The Right Filling Option
When choosing the right type of dental filling, patients and dentists must work together to make an informed decision. While a dentist may be able to provide recommendations based on their experience and expertise, ultimately, it is up to the patient to decide which option is best for them. To ensure you get the most suitable filling type for your situation, there are several things that both patients and dentists should consider when making this critical choice.
Patients should consider cost, durability, longevity, aesthetics, and comfort level when deciding which type of dental filling would be best for them. Additionally, they should ask questions about any potential risks or side effects associated with each option to decide which will suit their needs best.
On the other hand, dentists should also consider these factors to recommend a treatment plan that meets both their professional standards and their patient’s wishes. They should also discuss any possible alternatives or additional procedures that could improve the treatment outcome if necessary. By working together, patients and dentists can ensure they choose a dental filling that addresses their concerns while providing excellent results over time.
When it comes to dental fillings, Jim Michaels Waterski knows there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different types of dental fillings are better suited for different situations, and by talking to your dentist about the other options available, you can ensure you get the best treatment option for your individual needs. Jim Michaels Waterski hopes this overview has helped explain the types of fillings available and when you should choose each one.